awards twitter

Speech from AFB Awards

Last month, Web Axe announced that Accessible Twitter was presented with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) 2011 Access Award. I attended the AFB Awards Ceremony last Friday at the JLTLI conference in downtown Seattle, Washington (Web Axe is sister site of Accessible Twitter). Afterwards, I had the honor of dining with the President and CEO of the AFB, Carl R. Augusto. I met several other AFB folks who were all wonderful people.

Here is the acceptance speech I prepared (and closely presented) at the award ceremony.

Thank you so much. I’m deeply honored and very thankful to be here.

A little over 2 years ago, which is like 20 years in web technology time, Gez Lemon, on his blog Juicy Studio, wrote about a clever script he developed to correct’s lack of keyboard focus.

I wrote a tweet about it and about another accessibility issue on the Twitter website, and a friend and former co-worker Doug Diego suggested I use the Twitter API and create an accessible version. My wife and kids were away visiting family at the time, so it was a great opportunity. And that’s what I did. Just a few weeks later, “Accessible Twitter” was born.

I emailed a few peers about the site, and before I even officially announced it, people were offering suggestions, blogging about it, and even better, offering to test it for me.

This anecdote illustrates the power and the cohesiveness of Twitter, and even more so, the accessibility community. And it’s a worldwide community. It’s the people themselves who make it work, and strive to make it work better. Some of those people are:

  • Matthew Smith (a.k.a. Smiffy) from Australia, who had suggestions for the user interface and helped with coding issues.
  • Steve Faulkner, outside of London, for special code called ARIA which help screen readers interpret certain kinds of content.
  • Kerstin Probiesch and Per Busch, both of Germany, who helped with early testing.
  • Jennison Asuncion, of Toronto, Canada, who continues to be one of the most active users of Accessible Twitter; he provides feedback and helps promote the application.
  • Everett Zufelt, who’s also from Canada, with recently suggesting a new method for hiding special content for screen reader users.

So the takeaway here is that the Accessible Twitter project, like many others on the web and elsewhere, is a collaborative effort. My name and my company’s name, Web Overhauls, are listed as the authors of the application, but in reality, it’s the community that makes it all happen. Thank you.

awards twitter

Accessible Twitter Receives AFB 2011 Access Award

Accessible Twitter blue bird icon Congratulations to Accessible Twitter which has been honored with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) 2011 Access Award. Other recipients are CBS, Lexmark, and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

An Access Awards Ceremony will be held Friday, March 11, at the 2011 Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute (JLTLI) conference in downtown Seattle, Washington.

Accessible Twitter is a web application which serves as an alternative to the website. It is designed to be easier to use and is optimized for disabled users. In addition to all modern desktop browsers (and IE 6), Accessible Twitter runs on virtually any user-agent such as Lynx (text browser), screen readers, the Kindle, Braille displays, and web-enabled mobile devices.

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Podcast #85: Drupal 7 Accessibility

Dennis speaks with Everett Zufelt (@ezufelt) on Drupal and the accessibility improvements in Drupal 7 which is now in beta. Drupal is an increasingly popular open-source content management system (CMS).

Download Web Axe Episode 85 (Drupal 7 Accessibility)

[Transcript of podcast 85]

Transcript sponsored by Accessibility DC (@AccessibilityDC), meetups on accessibility in the Washington, DC, area.

Related links:



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Accessibility in .Net Mag Awards

Two nominations directly related to web accessibility appeared in the .net magazine’s 2010 Best of the Web awards. This site, Web Axe, was nominated for “Podcast of the Year” and Accessible Twitter was nominated for “Best API Use”. Please make your vote and support the importance of web accessibility and the efforts of these two services!

On October 20, nominations for each category will be reduced to three. A panel of over 100 judges will choose the final winners and will be announced on November 19.

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Podcast #74: Awards, Events & Back to Basics

A super special podcast:

  • First time face-to-face recording between Dennis and Ross.
  • In Santa Cruz, California.
  • 4-Year Anniversary for Web Axe.

Download Web Axe Episode 74 (Awards, Events & Back to Basics)

[transcript of podcast 74]



If a page is viewed through Google Chrome Frame in Internet Explorer no content is available to the user of assistive technology (AT). This can be illustrated using the Microsofts accexplorer tool.


Main Segment

WCAG 2: Remember P.O.U.R.: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust

  • Perceivable – Interface elements can not be invisible to users.
  • Operable – Users must be able to interact with the interface.
  • Understandable – Users must be able to understand with information and the interface (cognitive).
  • Robust – Must be usable by a wide range of user agents and assisstive technologies.

Use P.O.S.H.: Plain Ol’ Semantic HTML

  • Use headings and properly.
  • P is for paragraph.
  • blockquotes for quotes (not indentation).
  • Use lists for lists, menus, etcetera.
  • Definition Lists.
  • Use strong and em tags versus b and i.

Other topics:

  • Alt text for non-textual elements.
  • Tables
  • Forms
  • JavaScript
  • Device-Independence
  • Visual impairments
  • Audio